Colombia’s exports to the United States have fall by 19.7% in January 2013 compared to the same month last year, said the national statistics agency on Wednesday.
Sales to the U.S. were mainly down due to lower sales of fuels, mineral oils and other mining products. The U.S. is still however the main destination for Colombian exports with a 29.3% share in January 2013.
The Free Trade Agreement between Colombia and the U.S. came into effect in May of 2012, and was supposed to increase exports between the two countries. However, despite the downward trend in export growth, the U.S. trade representative said last November that it was still too “premature” to relate the fall in exports to the FTA.
The fall in exports to the U.S. has contributed to a fall of 1.1% in Colombia’s total exports in January 2013 in comparison to January 2012.
The aggregate result was mainly because of a 5.5% drop in fuel and mining product exports and a 9.4% drop in the export of agricultural products, food and beverages.
Meanwhile, China received 14.9% of Colombia’s exports in January 2013, marking a 57% increase on January 2012, due increased demand for fuel and mining products.
Colombia’s neighbor, Venezuela, only takes a 3.3% share of exports and Ecuador a 2.9% share.
The central bank has said that the lower export growth fueled the cut in the interest rate on February.